Sports

Five things to watch Saturday at the Winter Games

PYEONGCHANG, Korea, Republic Of — The Winter Olympics hit the halfway mark on Saturday. Here are five things to watch:

 

CAREER CAPPER — Patrick Chan will take the Olympic ice for the final time in his career as he skates his long program. The three-time world champion from Toronto made his Olympic debut eight years ago in Vancouver, where he was fifth. He went into the 2014 Sochi Games favoured for gold but had to settle for silver after a fall on a double Axel in his long program. Chan is one of several Canadian skaters retiring after Pyeongchang. Pairs bronze medallists Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford and star ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are also calling it quits.

 

TOUGH ACTS TO FOLLOW — Canadian curlers Rachel Homan and Kevin Koe continue round-robin play with the men taking on Niklas Edin of Sweden and the women facing American Nina Roth. Homan and Koe have are hoping to follow in the footsteps of fellow Canadians John Morris and Kaitlyn Lawes, who captured the gold in mixed doubles earlier this week. Koe and Homan are also representing the defending champions after Jennifer Jones and Brad Jacobs won both the women's and men's titles four years ago in Sochi.

 

BACK TO BASICS — Canadian freestyle skier Dara Howell is back to defend her gold medal in women's slopestyle. Just 19 when she reached the top of the podium in the sport's Olympic debut four years ago in Sochi, Howell was overwhelmed at the whirlwind that followed and struggled with being in the spotlight. She took time off from the sport and struggled when she finally returned. Working with new coaches, she went back to basics and heads into Pyeongchang confident she can return to the top step of the podium.

 

WAITING GAME — The Canadian women's hockey team will be watching the results of Saturday's quarter-finals from the sidelines as they await their semifinal opponent. The Canadian women, along with their American rivals, advanced directly to the semifinals after finishing the round robin with a sparkling 3-0 record. Odds are it will be yet another Canada-U.S. final but both teams will have to win their semifinal against either the Olympic athletes from Russia or Switzerland on Monday to get there. Canada is gunning for its fifth straight gold.

 

BACK ON THE TRACK — Short-track speedskater Kim Boutin returns to the rink an Olympic bronze medallist Saturday when she toes the line in the women's 1,500. The racer from Sherbrooke, Que., was promoted to third in the 500 metres on Tuesday after a South Korean skater was disqualified. The result didn't sit well with some and Boutin was the target of nasty and threatening messages on social media. She set her accounts to private and the RCMP, which handles security for Canada's Olympians, is looking into the matter.  

 

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